UPDATE: The procedure went very well yesterday. Everything was very familiar to me - that is, the Korean dentist's tools and techniques seemed the same to me as my dentist back home. Only one difference - they have cable TV at this place. During a couple of short breaks while the technician was working on the temporary crown, I was allowed to watch the Discovery Channel! Of course, the part I was most afraid of, pulling the old tooth's root, was not done until the very end of the appointment, thus building up my anticipation (and fear). It didn't really hurt at all, but it was a real strange feeling. Especially the sound - I guess because all this is connected to my jaw bones, it seemed that I could hear even the smallest sound as the tooth was being pulled. With the tooth out, he put in a couple stitches and then the technician cemented in the temporary crown. I'm supposed to go back in this morning for a few minutes - for what, I'm not sure. But it isn't a problem - this dentist is located in my office building, so it's very close. Let me conclude by saying this procedure went much better than I was anticipating. They did a good job and I was far more comfortable than I imagined. If anyone want's a dentist recommendation here in Seoul, let me know.
I was out for dinner and some light drinking with JI on Tuesday night, and ended up breaking off one of teeth almost completely! I wish I could report an exciting story, say, I was in a big street fight defending the reputation of American beef. Or at least I tripped on my own feet (don't laugh, it's happened even when no drinking was inolved) and stumbled down two flights of stairs. Alas, the truth is so dull. I was simply eating from a small bowl of peanuts, when one particular peanut happened to snap off the tooth! Fortunately, the tooth didn't hurt, although I've had a strong, dull headache since then.
In hindsight, the tooth had been repaired a long time back, I think it was in the 1980's with a root canal. It was already weakened, and the peanut just happened to press on it the wrong way. After visiting the dentist, and confering with my USA dentist, I'm going to have a crown installed. I had a mold made yesterday, and today they will extract the remaining root and install a temporary crown. After two months, they will install a permanent crown. Even though I don't normally enjoy dental work, surprisingly I'm able to tolerate most procedures pretty well. But I remember having my wisdom teeth pulled many years ago, and it wan't too pleasant. Hopefully this will be better.